Middle School Volleyball
Waking up early is not for everyone, especially at the middle school age, but to 50 girls, it was an opportunity for them to be a part of a brand new school sports team, make friends, and grow their skills in volleyball.
In its inaugural season, the middle school volleyball program had 50 participants. Practices were held in the mornings and matches occurred twice a week after school. As part of the Junior High/Middle School Classic Lake Conference, the South View and Valley View teams played common rivals, including Minnetonka, Hopkins, and Wayzata. The athletic competition was fun, but the coaching and program staff agree it is not the sole focus at this age.
“It’s not so much about competition as it is about growing the kids and teaching them the responsibility of being a part of a team,” says Middle School Programs Manager Carrie Proctor. “[We want to focus on] building confidence, experience, and inclusiveness.”
The middle school volleyball program also provides students the opportunity to experience something new. It’s not as intense as club volleyball, but it still offers that initial exposure to the sport. Kristin Greene, a parent a of a volleyball student, says that “It was a great way to start the day. With the late start, it was nice for the girls to be active and working out in the morning. Game times worked great for multi-sport athletes too, as they were done early enough in the evening so as not to bump into other activities.”
Similar to after school clubs, middle school sports allow students to connect to their school in a non-academic setting. They can meet new people, interact with different staff, and feel like they belong at their school.
“This age is so critical for students,” says Jane Tierney, Volleyball Coach at Valley View. “Young teens are the most overlooked and forgotten segment of childhood.” They are too old, yet too young at the same time. Extracurriculars, especially at this age, allow students to try out new ideas and new identities.
As the first season of middle school volleyball comes to an end, the inaugural season of boys basketball is right around the corner. Both middle schools will offer the sport this winter. Their season runs January—March. For more information about Boys Basketball, please visit: bit.ly/MSboysbasketball